Use nature to your advantage!
When homeowners realize it’s time to save money on their energy bills, they should consider windows, insulation, light bulbs and doors. But these are all major investments, and often times represent a full home makeover. For homeowners who aren’t ready for that commitment, there are alternatives that can be done in the meantime. Consider the landscape directly around your house. This is an excellent place to start.
When it comes to the landscape the first thing you should think about are trees. It’s a low tech solution that’s been around since the very first houses were built. Putting these around the house can yield impressive reductions on your energy usage due to how much shade trees can provide. So let’s look at a few simple landscaping ideas that will cut your energy costs year-round.
Your home gets constantly battered by the rays of the sun. When considering planting some trees, consider what parts of your home receives the most sun throughout the day. One of the simplest landscaping ideas you can implement is to plant deciduous trees (the kind that lose their leaves in the fall) near your windows. Sunlight coming in through windows can account for a huge percentage of a home’s heat intake. Shade provided by these trees will cut out a significant portion of that heat and make it easier to keep your home cool. On top of that, in the winter; the leaves will die and fall off, and this will provide you with the benefit of the sun coming into your home during the colder months.
Another easy landscape idea to boost your home’s energy efficiency is to plant shrubs around the edge of the house. In addition to trees, a line of shrubs around the outside of your home will help trap in warm air, providing additional insulation during colder months. It doesn’t end there; in the summer months the shrubs may also provide shade for the house. These will keep your basement or sublevel cooler in the summer months, and help retain heat in the winter.
If you are looking for the cheapest way to reduce on energy costs trees and shrubs are the way to go. Shrubs can have an immediate impact on your energy bills right when they get planted. One of the most important things that comes from putting shrubs and trees around the building is how they can be used as wind stoppers. On a windy day your windows and doors will have even more of a draft coming through them than any other day. Having shrubs around your home will make the wind hit them prior to your windows.
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